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Page last updated at 09:24 GMT, Monday, 22 June 2009 10:24 UK

Exhausted Egypt blame schedule

Egypt contemplate defeat
The Pharaohs were totally outplayed by the USA

Beaten African champions Egypt have blamed tiredness for their disastrous defeat by the USA.

The Pharaohs were thrashed 3-0 in Rustenberg on Sunday night, and crashed out of the Confederations Cup in South Africa.

Italy were also beaten 3-0, by Brazil - and the USA go through to the semi-finals.

Egypt assistant coach Shawky Gharib said his players were exhausted.

"Our players were fatigued, we had injuries and we were under a lot of pressure," he said.

Egypt's performance against the Americans was in stark contrast to their thrilling contests with Brazil and Italy - which ended in a 4-3 defeat and a magnificent 1-0 win.

Some of Egypt's top stars - like BBC African Footballer of the Year Mohamed Aboutrika - have been playing almost constantly for years on end, as club and international commitments have merged.

Midfielder Hosni Abd Rabou, named player of the tournament when Egypt won the 2008 African Nations Cup, added: "Three games in six days was too much. But it's no problem, that's football."

Egypt now have to turn their attention to the urgent task of qualifying for the World Cup next year.

They are bottom of Group C with just one point from two games and host Rwanda in July in a qualifying match delayed because of their participation in the Confederations Cup.

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see also
Egypt 0-3 USA
21 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Egypt 1-0 Italy
18 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Brazil 4-3 Egypt
15 Jun 09 |  Internationals
What is the Confederations Cup?
12 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Algeria set fair for World Cup
20 Jun 09 |  African
Egypt and Nigeria in shock draws
29 Mar 09 |  African
World Cup qualifying roundup
07 Jun 09 |  African
2010 World Cup
09 Sep 09 |  African

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